Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – September 7th to 15th, 1960

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Click on photos to enlarge Boys playing with fire crackers is believed to have been the cause of a fire which completely destroyed the near-century-old Roman Catholic Church at Port Severn Friday evening. Known familiarly as the “Lumbermen’s Church”, the tinder-dry frame building was beyond saving by the time firemen arrived from Waubaushene. The building was to have been marked with an Ontario historical plaque.

This painting of the old lumberman’s church at Port Severn, by Barrie jeweller Gordon Reeve, is one of a number by district painters assembled by Simcoe County Arts and Crafts Association for display at Midland’s Huronia Museum this year. Assistant curator R. A. Grigg is seen with the painting; which occupies a prominent place in the lower hall.  From 1959

There’ll be trophies in the homes of these four members of Midland Golf and Country Club this winter, following successful seasons on the links. Left to right are A. J. Preston, club president, who won the seniors’ title; Wally Hook, winner of the Orillia Trophy; Doug Haig, club champion; and Miles Blackhurst, who won the Wallace Trophy. Cups were presented at the dinner following men’s field day Sunday. 

Part of the largest crowd to see a ball game in Midland this season is seen above, as they watched Indians down Port Hope 9-5 Saturday in the first game of the OBA intermediate “A” major semi-finals. The teams meet again in Port Hope today with the third game tentatively slated for Midland next Sunday, providing the grounds can be cleaned up in time following the Tiny-Tay fair. 

Players on both teams had to look up to this pair who matched pitches in Saturday’s game here. Midland’s Gord Dyment (left) hurled steady ball to gain a 9-5 decision and John Holman gave six innings of fine relief pitching for the losing Port Hope team in the first game of the semi-final series. 

Getting up in the world, temporarily at least, are left to right, Don Hurlbut, Gordon Paul, Chester Graham, Gary White and Andy Puddicombe. When Andy’s father, John Puddicombe, 189 George Street, made a set of stilts for his son, the idea became so popular he had to make five more pairs to keep other lads in the neighborhood happy. 

Toward the end of the summer holidays it’s pretty hard to find ways and means of keeping children busy, and happy. John Puddicombe of 189 George Street Midland solved the problem by making several pairs of stilts. Here Bonnie Puddicombe, left, and Susan Woods try their luck with the “high walkers.” 

Work is now underway on a new two-room addition to augment present facilities of SS 8b, Tay Township. Located at Port Severn, the school also has pupils from Baxter Township, in Muskoka, as well as Tay. Cost of the addition, slated to be ready for operation by the start of 1961, is $38,000. The long shadow in the centre foreground is the photographer’s.

County Herald headline of September 9th, 1960 

A 23-day “holiday” from Collins Bay penitentiary in August proved costly for two 21 year-old men, one from Victoria Harbour and the other from the Maritimes. Magistrate K. A. Cameron added the bill in Midland police court Wednesday and it came to three years, in addition to the one year both still have to serve on their previous conviction. The cost may rise even higher when a further charge of escaping custody against the pair is heard in Kingston. In Penetang court last Thursday, the two had pleaded guilty to four charges, including two of car theft, one of breaking into a house and another of theft of clothing. They had been remanded until Wednesday’s court  for sentence. On Wednesday they pleaded guilty to 24 more charges of theft and break, entry and theft. All of these charges resulted from their desperate 10 day flight from swarms of provincial police which combed North Simcoe and Southern Muskoka areas from the time they were first seen near Victoria Harbour August 17. The chase ended ten days later, on the Pretty Channel of the Severn River, not far from “Big Chute”. 

Free Press Herald headline of September 14th, 1960. 

Outcome of county council’s action at a special meeting in Barrie Monday. Midland is to receive $111,577 in county grants to offset payments by the municipality on outstanding principal of debentures issued for the construction of the new St. Andrews Hospital. Of the $250,000 in debentures raised following the construction of the new hospital, $171,000 of the principal remains unpaid. The special hospital grant of $111,577 is to be paid by the county to the town of Midland in equal annual installments over a period of 10 years, commencing on the due date of the debenture beginning in 1961. It is estimated this sum will require approximately 1/10 of 1 mill per year on the present equalized assessment of the county. 

    Wymbolwood and Mountain beaches, from the eighth concession through to the sixth are private beaches not controlled by the Provincial government or Tiny Township authorities, members of Wymbolwood Beach Association Inc. were told at their annual meeting Saturday at the home of Al Rosenberg. Mr. Rosenberg later was elected president of the association for 1960-61, succeeding Warren Coulter who held the office for the past two years. The announcement, made by the corporation’s honorary legal counsel following months of intensive investigation that ended with a ruling by the Department or Lands and Forests which marked a victory in the battle by the cottagers on the beaches for the right to stop motor vehicles from driving on the beach in front of their homes. Special honors and thanks were extended unanimously to Marsh Magwood, following his announcement which included the reading of a letter from the provincial department with the ruling the beach property was private property. “Basis of the decision was that the original patentee in 1823 was granted ownership of the land right to the water’s edge”. 

    Earlier indications that SS No. 23, Tiny, Light’s School might cease to operate this term failed to materialize, and 23 pupils are attending classes under the tutelage of a Miss Graham, according to information received yesterday. The enrollment is an increase or six pupils over the number attending at the close of last term. It is said the six are children who had been attending Penetang School, along with other pupils from this area, last year. According to a statement made previously by board member Richard Matthews, some 50 pupils would be affected if the school did close. This would indicate that approximately 27 pupils from No. 23 school section still are being transported to Penetang by bus. 

    A six-point plan to make drastic cuts in rising costs of Simcoe County Children’s Aid Society was implemented by the board of directors at a special meeting in Barrie Tuesday night. The plan was contained in a report submitted by a fact finding committee, named by the board two months ago. The report recommended that departmentalization be discontinued where not necessary; that the managing director provide a simplified monthly re-port to directors to eliminate wastage of office labor and paper; that the charge for protection and prevention services be based on a unit or each contact; that the society’s staff be drastically reduced; that social workers live in the area they serve, and that the managing director be advised he must bring costs in line with expenditures of other societies. 

    Hammers a crowbar and a porthole were among items salvaged from two wrecks off Hope Island last weekend. These articles were brought to the surface by members of a group or 20 skin divers from the Toronto Skin Diving Club, who went to the island Sunday and Monday. The group ranging in age between 13 and 30 were taken out to the Island by Frank Shulman, Midland merchant, in his 25-foot aluminum hulled launch. The skin divers left from Thunder Bay dock about noon Sunday and returned at 7.30 Monday evening. “They went out to search around a couple of known shipwrecks and to try locate a couple of others,” stated Mr. Shulman yesterday. He added that the maximum depth the divers went was approximately 35 feet. 

    Following on the heels of an overcast Labor Day weekend, a heat wave has invaded North Simcoe. Tuesday and Wednesday temperatures hovered over the 90-degree mark and yesterday, around noon hour, a Hugel Ave. resident reported that it had hit 95 on his thermometer. The August-like weather, accompanied by hot winds, is searing grass and other vegetation and is causing rising fire hazard conditions in wooded areas.  

    Registration at the four schools operated by the Penetang Public School Board has jumped approximately 200 this year, according to Chairman G. J. Robillard. He said this brings the total enrollment to something slightly over 1,300 pupils. Included in the figure are 150 children attending school for the first time in kindergarten classes. Mr. Robillard said it will be necessary to increase the number on the teaching staff by several new teachers over the present 40 employed. 

    A special meeting has been called to elect new trustees for Evergreen School, this newspaper was informed yesterday. The meeting, to be held in the school Sept. 20, is the outcome of a mass resignation of the board last week. Faced with what it felt were insoluble problems imposed by the ruling of an arbitration board more than a year ago, the SS 3, Tiny Township (Evergreen School) Board resigned. “We must break the decision of that arbitration board if this school section is ever to operate on a sound basis again.” Norman Brock, chairman, told this paper. Other members of the Board are, Ed Copeland and Bev Scott, Charles Robins is the secretary. The arbitration board met early in July of 1959 and handed down its decision a couple of weeks later, consisted of  Judge J. G. Harvie of Barrie, David Finch, Midland, Stan Smith representing Tay Township and Orval McClung, representing Tiny Township.
Originally the school section was a union one, embracing ratepayers in both Tay and Tiny Townships. Tay now has no financial responsibility in the operation of the new school section. When school opened for the new term, however, at least 10 children from Tay Township were at the door. This left the school with some 40 pupils. When the board hired Thomas Abma as teacher for the one-room school, it assured him there would be no mere than 36 pupils. “Mr Abma is doing his best to co-operate with us until we get things ironed out.” Said Mr. Brock. 

    Winners of the first “LIFE” — Local Industries Fund for Education — scholarships were announced Monday. Winners this year are Wayne Hutchinson, R. R. I Wyebridge who receives $500 and Jean Abbott, who received $300 award. Miss Abbott is continuing her studies in the general arts course, specializing in French, at the University of Toronto. She is looking forward to a high school teachers position. Mr. Hutchinson, also expects to enter the teaching profession when he completes his degree course in upper school science which he will take at the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph. Earlier this year five local industries in Midland and Penetang joined forces to provide a student aid fund for young persons wishing to continue their education at recognized universities, technical, agricultural or normal school. The “LIFE” fund was established in conjunction with the Midland YMCA which along with a committee of local teachers and industrialists is the fund’s administering body. 

    Today will be a red letter day in the life of Msgr. J. M. Castex, parish priest of Penetang when he will receive the “Alumni of the Year Award” from the Alumni Association or St. Augustine’s Seminary. The alumni award has been designed to give recognition to a distinguished member of the Alumni Association who has fulfilled priestly ideals over a considerable span of time, in such a way as to bring honour to the priest himself, the Seminary and the Alumni Association. (The following history was taken from the Canadian Register, official organ or the Roman Catholic Church.) Msgr. Castex was born July 22, 1871, in the village of Secoue, near Lourdes, France. At the age or seven, he was taken by his mother to the then new Shrine of Lourdes, and consecrated to the Blessed Virgin a mere 20 years after the apparitions. In 1891 he came to Canada and entered the novitiate of the Montfort Fathers at Cyrville, near Ottawa. He was ordained May 30, 1896, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Ottawa, by Archbishop J. T. Duhamel. After two years as chaplain of the Montfort Orphanage, Ottawa, he became assistant pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish, Eastview, and was appointed its pastor in 1902. During  1903 he served in the Archdiocese of Kingston, Wolfe Island, and Railton under the late Archbishop C. H. Gauthier. From October, 1904, to December 1905 he was assistant at the Montfort College and parish in Victoria, B.C. For five years following that he was pastor at St. Mary, Gate of Heaven parish, at Ozone Park in the diocese of Brooklyn. There he was subject to severe criticism for building a school much larger than the parish needed at the time. Within three years his judgment was vindicated by the growth or the district. Msgr. Castex returned to Canada and in 1910 he came to the Archdiocese of Toronto where he served for three years as assistant to Dean Hand at St. Paul’s. With the opening of St. Augustine’s Seminary in 1913, he became its first bursar, and also professor of Gregorian Chant, liturgy. His years in Huronia started in 1921 when he became pastor at Midland where he introduced the separate schools which flourish today. From 1930 to 1938 he was pastor in Phelpston, before coming to Penetanguishene, where he is still a very active parish priest. It was in 1946, on the occasion of his 50th anniversary of ordination that he was named a domestic prelate. During his 22 years in Penetang great changes have taken place. The Grey Sisters from Pembroke have  taken charge of the general hospital and today’s modern hospital is under their care. The Sacred Heart Brother’s have come to assist the Holy Cross Sisters in the parish schools which accommodate more than 1,200 children. In 1944, Marygrove Camp for girls was established under his guidance. It was in 1943 that the sanctuary of the church was remodeled, and at the present time this same sanctuary is nearing completion of a program of refurbishing in marble, along with redecoration of the entire church edifice. Still hale and hearty, Msgr. Castex is fondly looking forward to a trip to his native Lourdes when he celebrates his 90th birthday next year. 

May 18, 1966. Last Thursday was a happy occasion for Msgr. J. M. Castex when he marked the 70th anniversary of his service as a priest. Usually a man of serious expression, he was in a jovial mood as he posed for this picture along with Archbishop Philip F. Pocock. May 18, 1966.   


Tom Morris, deputy Reeve of Penetang, died in York County Hospital, Newmarket, the day following a two car collision near Holland Landing. Mrs. Morris, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Crippin, also of Penetang and five others were hospitalized in the crash. • • • Midland Boy Scout Association had raised more than $1,100 for the construction of their camp near the site of St. Ignace on the Sturgeon River. The 24 x 30 foot building was expected to cost $1,400 on land donated to the association. • • • Opening day registrations at Midland and Penetang high schools totaled 499 students. • • • Archaeologists W. W. Jury discovered what was believed to be Ontario’s first Christian burial ground at Fort Ste. Marie near Midland. • • • Plans were being made for the erection of a new Bell Telephone Company building at the corner of Hugel and Midland Avenues, the site of the former “woolen mills”. • •  • More uniform power distribution was expected for Midland with the construction of a new Hydro sub-station at the corner of Queen and Gloucester Streets. * * * Dr. Paul Scott, director of the Simcoe County Health Unit, advised Midland Council of un-sanitary conditions and the existence of 212 privies servicing Midland residents. Half of the out-buildings were on streets serviced with sewers, the report noted. Council at the same meeting considered the appointment of a permanent sanitary inspector. • • • Twenty-two school pupils of Flos and Sunnidale townships, debarred from Wasaga Beach school, found haven at the Allenwood School S.S. 7, Flos. 

I resurrected years gone by
and went to school today
Went back to be a child again
though hair is streaked with

I sat among the children there
as I with them was one,
And listened to the teacher just
as years ago I’d done.

I sang their songs, I read their
I worked their problems too,
And learned about Geography
With lands it brought to view.

l watched the kindergarten tots
And tears came in my eyes,
As unashamed I lived again
The days that age denies.

But something else today I
Yes something else I saw –
As through the rooms and halls I roamed
With thoughts akin to awe,
It wasn’t that which easily
With money could be bought,
But something everywhere
In souls of teachers wrought.

A badge invisible I saw
Upon each teacher’s breast
An emblem of the patience
With which each of them was blessed.
And a jewel studded Crown of
For all the children there,
Was symbol of the devotion
In teachers everywhere.

-Rhoda Downer

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – September 1st to 7th, 1960

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Click on photos to enlargeMore than 31 years of service with the Bell Telephone Co. came to an end recently with the retirement of Oliver Caldwell of Midland. Marking the occasion, Mr. Caldwell was guest of honour at a banquet held at Bourgeois’ dining room, Victoria Harbour, where he was the recipient of a number of gifts. 

Big bass was caught by Mrs. G. L. Symmes of Terra Cotta, Ont., left, fishing off Present Island on Sunday. Equally as proud of the catch is her father A. V. Piddington, who has summered at his cottage on Midland Point for the last 19 years. 

Winner of the Midland public speaking contest last week, Sheila Child will be seeking district laurels at Regent auditorium tonight. She is seen above receiving trophy from Tim Nesbitt, chairman of the Public Schools Board. 

Triumphant bandsmen chair their leader, Al Hume, on their return to Midland Thursday night. This year’s first place finish at the CNE competitions in Toronto was the third in a row for the Midland band, giving them permanent possession of the trophy. George Haskill Jr. on the left and Dan Richardson do the lifting.

Civic welcome was accorded the Midland Citizen’s Band Thursday night after winning the CNE band competition for the third year in succession. Seen above during ceremonies at the municipal building are Alderman James Mackie, Mayor Charles Parker, band leader Al Hume, Harry Brown, chairman of the band committee. Trophy held by Mr. Hume now becomes a permanent possession of the band. 

For a long time, Midlanders have been accustomed to seeing tender-aged hockey lads get the traditional ride on the fire truck after winning championships. Thursday night it was Midland Citizens Band’s turn as they were accorded a rousing reception by townspeople after winning their division of the band competitions at the CNE for the third straight year. 

Winner of the fourth annual Simcoe County senior ladies’ golf championships held Thursday at Midland Golf and Country Club, was Mrs. Tilly Lambrick of Orillia. Mrs. Lambrick, left, is seen receiving her trophy from Mrs. R. S. McLaughlin, president of the women’s division of the Midland club. The event attracted 22 entries this year. 

 Mr. and Mrs. Frank Fenton marked their diamond wedding anniversary Saturday when they held open house to their many friends at 208 Elizabeth Street. 

County Herald headline of September 2, 1960

Midland Citizens’ Band scored its third victory in band competition at the Canadian National Exhibition yesterday and retained its all-Canadian title in the Class Two brass band section. The win means the Midland bandsmen now will retain in their permanent possession the CNE trophy they have won on two previous occasions, and will receive about $450 in cash. This year, the Midlanders competed against bands from Orillia, Meaford and Chatham. They led their “arch rivals” from Orillia by 15 points. 

Free Press Herald headline of September 7, 1960 

Increased enrolment, the bugbear of public, separate and secondary school boards, were the order of the day as Midland elementary schools and the district high schools opened their doors Tuesday for the new term. Principal M. 0. Lewis of Regent Public School said 616 pupils turned up for classes yesterday morning, an increase of nine over the 1959 figure. In addition, he said, 40 pupils were sent to Parkview and Sixth Street Public Schools. Eighty-nine boys and girls have registered for the morning and afternoon kindergarten classes, he said. Opening day at Midland schools saw a total of 2,964 enrolled in primary and secondary schools. 

    Funeral services will be held this afternoon at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home, Midland, for Charles Stevenson, mayor of Midland in 1959, who died in Toronto Western Hospital Tuesday morning. Mr. Stevenson entered the hospital about two weeks ago for treatment of heart illness. The former mayor came to Midland from Halifax in 1923 and operated a refrigeration business for some years. He had served eight years on the Midland Public Utilities Commission, two of them as chairman. 

    Following the tabling of a letter signed by six businessmen, Midland council, at its meeting Monday night agreed town bylaws governing transient traders and peddlers should be revised and brought up-to-date. The letter asked council “to enforce the bylaw which protects local businesses wherein a transient trader’s licence must be procured prior to outside firms trading in Midland.” 

    lf you are a Midland dog owner and haven’t a dog tag for your dog, don’t be surprised if a local police officer raps on your door.  Midland council, at its Monday night meeting, asked police committee chairman, Alderman James Mackie to make arrangements with the local force to have them contact all citizens with dogs who have not purchased the necessary tags. It’s not fair that two-thirds of the dog owners have bought tags and the other third have not.” commented Mayor Charles Parker. He noted that last Tuesday morning he had seen a number of upturned garbage cans before the garbage collector had been around. 

    lndian Chief, Big Canoe, and his wife of Georgina lsland Reserve have been among the recent distinguished visitors at Huronia Museum, Midland. The chief answered questions from museum officials and visitors and autographed books and Indian handcrafts. Another visitor was a Burmese student from Rangoon, who took notes on the Museum’s Indian displays. Attendance at the museum this year is up about 3,000 over the figure for the same period last year, it was stated. A number of new exhibits have been added, including a fire-less cooker, a wash stand and a china set, a throne chair, a high shaving stand, a metal bed warmer and two pieces of gold deposit. 

    Steps are already under way to organize a group of ‘Sweet Adelines’ for Midland and district, this fall. The first attempt to assemble the women for four part harmonizing took place last week with the eight present. They decided their winter meetings would held Thursday evenings. Sweet Adeline chorus singing was first organized in 1947 in Oklahoma and has now grown to an international organization of 300 chapters. When Midland applies for a chapter, it will not be under the ‘Midland’ name for there is already a chapter issued to Midland, Michigan. The chorus will be directed by Ruth Fowler, recently moved to Midland from Scarborough, where she was an active ‘barbershopper’ with the chapter there.

 Letters to the editor;

TUG “CHARLTON” Dear Editor: The 261 ton single screw wooden tug John Prendiville (US 127711) was built in 1862 at Chicago by Miller Brothers. On May 26, 1882, she was renamed Charlie Kellog. Her dimensions were 135 feet long by 19.04 feet wide, by 10.04 foot depth . On July 10, 1884, she was sold to International Wrecking and Transportation Co. of Windsor, Ontario, and her name was changed to Charlton. Official No. 88622. On May 5, 1889, she was sold to William Aikenhead, Windsor, Ont., and on Jan. 15, 1889, she was sold to John Charlton, Lynedock, Ont., by the Deputy Marshal of the Maritime Court of Ontario, County of Leeds. On May 14, 1894, she was rebuilt at Collingwood, Ont., 389.38 gross tons, and on Nov. 6, 1894, she was sold to Charles Mills Gattey of Sarnia and also on Nov. 1894, she was sold to the Boutell (sp) Towing and Wrecking Co. Ltd. of Sarnia. On May 1, 1901, she was sold to the Victoria Harbour Lumber Co. Ltd. and on January 17, 1929, she was sold to Marius Dufresne, Montreal, Que., and also on Jan. 17, 1929, her registry was closed after transfer to Port of Montreal.

Dear Editor: Can anything be done about the big boats dumping their garbage in the channel? Not only is it very annoying, but imagine how the waters are being polluted! The C.S.L. “Prescott” passed our cottage about 6.30 this evening, August 29th, dumping heaps of refuse and attracting dozens of seagulls. The above mentioned freighter is only one of many guilty of this unsanitary practice. Surely an hour farther out in open water would be a more courteous location for shoveling off the garbage. — A Summer Resident at The Point 

    A park established by Tiny Township at Dault’s Bay, finally has been given a name, and henceforth will be known as Stott’s Park. The approved for the name was given in a resolution passed at Thursday’s meeting of Tiny council. 

    The two assistant priests at St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, Rev. F. Voorwerk and Rev. L. Petitpas, are leaving Midland this weekend to take up duties in other parishes. This was confirmed yesterday by Father Voorwerk who advised that effective Sept. 10 he becomes priest of St. Columb Kille parish at Uptergrove. Effective the same day, Father Petitpas is transferred as assistant priest to St. Ann’s parish, Toronto, Father Voorwerk stated. This weekend will see two new assistant priests at St. Margaret’s. They are Rev. Gordon Bean of Toronto and Rev. Leslie Tamas who comes to Midland from Collingwood. “ We are sorry to be leaving Midland for we have made many happy friendships,” stated Father Voorwerk adding that he was pleased to have his own parish. Father Voorwerk has been at St. Margaret’s for the last five years and Father Petitpas for the last two years. 

Midland mayor S. W. McKinley, in a public notice to landlords, informed them that shelter allowance would not be paid to newcomers to town for relief. If such family was on relief in the previous municipality. • • • The barn of Roger Brunelle, the largest in the village of Lafontaine, with all its year’s crop was burned to the ground when a threshing machine caught fire from a heated shaft and sent flame out of the blower to the straw mound. • • • A program of development, including a large L-shaped dock at Triple Bay, was started by Charles Beatty who took over the store and post office formerly operated by A. G. (Doc) Elson. • • • Mrs. Gerald Powell of Araan, Ohio, took an hour and a half to land a “muskie” at Delawana Inn. The fish weighed 41 ½ pounds, was 52 inches Iong and 24 inches in girth. • • • Bill Gerow, a thirteen-year-old Midland lad, won the Across-the-Bay swim at the Penetang Water Sports held as part of the Labor Day festivities. • • • Labor Day was celebrated by a program   presented at the Midland town park, by Midland Workers’ Association, Midland Longshoremen’s Union and the Relief Gardens Committees of Midland, Penetang, and Victoria Harbour . More than 3,000 people from the three towns attended the day’s activities. 

    District traffic fatalities and accidents in recent weeks should emphasize the importance of the August 1 amendment to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act which requires Ontario motorists to have their car lights on an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise.

JAMES DILLON. Owner of the Canada House, Penetang, James Dillon died in Penetang General Hospital, August 25, after a short illness. He was in his 68th year. Requiem Mass was celebrated at St. Ann’s Memorial Church by Re V. J. Marchand, Rev. P. Bourque and Rev. A. O’Malley on August 27. Pallbearers were Marc, Arthur and Raymond Parent, Ed Forget, Pat Clarke and Harry Deschamps. Born at Toronto Oct. 11, 1892, he received his education there. On August 5, 1936, at Toronto, he married the former Evelyn Parent. He was a former employee of the T. Eaton Co., Ltd. and the Toronto Police Force. He had lived 50 years in Toronto, seven in Detroit and the last 10 in Penetang. During World War I, he served for three years with the medical corps. Besides his widow, he is survived by a son, Neil of Penetang and two daughters, Mrs. Marcel Beaudoin (Gloria) of Toronto and Mrs. Gerard Genier (Barbara) of Penetang . Three brothers, Ed, Fred and John and a sister, Mrs. Percy Waghorne (Blanche), all of Toronto, also survive, as well as two grandchildren. 

ALEXANDRE BRUNELLE. A life-long resident of Lafontaine, Alexandre Brunelle died at his home, August 24, following a coronary thrombosis. He was in his 82nd year. Requiem Mass was celebrated August 27th by Rev. T. Marchildon, Rev. A. O’Malley and Rev. J. Marchand at Ste. Croix Church, Lafontaine. Pallbearers were Maurice and Robert Brunelle, Leonard, Fernand, Gilbert and Alderic Moreau. On Nov. 18, 1901, at Lafontaine Mr. Brunelle married the former Rosanna Leroux. In 1953, he retired from farming and commercial fishing. He was interested in boating. Predeceased by his wife in 1944, he is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Willie Moreau (Christine) of Perkinsfield, Mrs. Charles Maheu (Cecile) of Lafontaine, and Mrs. Albert Charlebois (Leona) of Penetang and four sons Bernard and Pete of Penetang, Germain of Vancouver and Louis of Lafontaine. Twenty-five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren also survive. 

    Builder’s trials for the S.S. Red Wing, carried out on Lake Ontario August 10, made a red letter day for William Silvey of Midland. Mr. Silvey is chief engineer on the new 730-foot long lake giant, built and launched at Port Weller Shipyard for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. At the conclusion of the trials, shipping and steamship inspection officials expressed their “complete satisfaction with the operation of the vessel and its equipment”. The Red Wing was officially handed over to the owners August 12 and proceeded to Sandusky, where she loaded 25,000 tons of coal for Hamilton. The big ship is 75 feet wide and has a moulded depth or 39 feet, three inches. (Always a classy looking ship, towed to Taiwan via Honolulu for scrapping in 1987.) 

Some items from the front page of the Advertiser, September 4th 1940.

     Midland and Penetang have returned to Standard Time. Both towns adopted Daylight Saving Time during the summer and has proved it to be a great thing. Although not particularly suited to farmers, Daylight Saving Time during the summer has many things in its favor. It allows the average working or business man an extra hour of daylight to do as he wishes to either work or play. More towns and villages adopted Daylight Saving Time this year than ever before. Surely all these communities can’t be wrong. 

    Rain which threatened to spoil the day for outside activities, cleared for the afternoon to be replaced by exceptionally fine weather for the first Drumhead Service of the Midland Civil Guard. Several hundred members of the Civil Guard, along with members of the Canadian Legion, led by the Midland Bugle Band, paraded to the Fair Grounds on Sunday to hold their first Drumhead Service, conducted by Rev. A. E. W. Ingram, rector of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, and Rev. M. S. Barr, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. The service was conducted in the usual outdoor military style with the flags draped over the regimental drums to form a pulpit. 

      Workmen have completed removal of the last tramway in the Letherby & Son lumber yards. Most of the machinery in the mill has also been dismantled. The sawmill was the last of five to cease operation locally. After over 50 years operation, the mill closed for good after a short operation this summer. The mill cut 12 to 15 million feet of lumber in a sawing season, employing upwards of 150 men. From the timber areas near Collins Inlet, still owned by the company, two and a half million logs were towed 150 miles for manufacture here. Some years 1,000 carloads of lumber were shipped.

    Hundreds of local admirers of Phil (Babe) Marchildon, including L. Fitzgerald and I. G. Sheppard, who were sponsors of Penetang Spencer Rangers intermediate baseball team and his one-time teammates were delighted to learn that Marchildon had been chosen to play with the Philadelphia Athletics, and move up to the  majors. Marchildon’s dad, who is his most enthusiastic supporter, was so overcome with pride that he could only say, “I knew he had it in him.”The “Babe” when twirling for the local amateur hardball hopefuls took them to the championships year after year. 

    This week citizens have been perusing with interest the collection of old ornaments, on exhibition in the Irwin’s Pharmacy  store window. Many of them are over one hundred years old, beautiful old pieces, including quaint lockets, lovely old bracelets, old fashioned rings, brooches and other ornaments especially dear to the feminine heart. Among the brooches is one of particular interest centered with strands of interwoven hair, one fair and the other dark, belonging to the husband and son of the owner, and no doubt deeply cherished. Inscriptions on this quaint piece tell of the passing of these two loved ones over 100 years ago. P. B. Crews, gold expert, of Toronto, who is at Irwin’s Pharmacy 2 weeks only, for the purpose of buying gold,  could tell many interesting stories attached to the pieces which he purchased. With pure gold now at $60.00 an ounce, Mr. Crews  explains the highest price ever reached, many are anxious to sell these old pieces being in need of money, while others like to determine the value of  their keepsakes, a service which Mr. Crews renders free of charge. See Ad on page 3. (Giving you scrap value for your jewelry is obviously not a new thing. Gold is currently $2,500 an ounce in Canada.) 

    Four persons crawled out of an upside-down taxi in Midland Sunday morning, following a crash at Dominion Ave. and First Street. They suffered only minor bruises. Their cab, driven by Jack Lalonde of Penetang, was proceeding east on Dominion Ave., and was struck by a second taxi driven by Orville Bugg, of Midland and which was going north on First St. According to eyewitnesses, Lalonde’s car skidded, then rolled upside down on the pavement. His passengers were Mrs. Peter Lacroix, Penetang, her son, Pte. Alcide Lacroix, on leave from Camp Borden and William Minard of Midland. Chief Wm. McDonald of Midland investigated.   

    The Midland Workers Association held their annual picnic and draw on Monday, Labor Day Sept. 2nd. Proceeds from the affair this year were contributed to the war effort. Several hundred attended during the afternoon, taking part in the different sporting events. In the evening, games of chance, bingo, etc., attracted a nice crowd at the curling rink, where the draw for the $5 hat covered with 20 $1 bills took place. Mr. A. McArthur, Midland, was the fortunate winner. 

    Work is progressing rapidly on construction of the new $22,500 dock for use of pleasure craft. Nearly 5,000 piles have been removed by D. S. Pratt from the waterfront site where a dock was built 39 years ago. These piles, taken from the water in very good condition, were purchased by Mr. Pratt. They were taken to the E. Letherby sawmill and sawn into lumber. Some 400 new piles of pine and British Columbia fir, about 40 feet long, have been driven for the new dock. Dredging of 8,500 yards was necessary to permit a depth of eight feet. A fleet of trucks removed the sludge as it was dredged. The new dock will be 220 feet long, with slipways on each side, providing accommodation for 25 to 50 boats, depending on size, accommodation will be provided at the end of the dock for a 100-foot yacht, if required. William Birmington & Sons, of Kingston, are the contractors. T. Sharpe is local inspector on the project. Midland avenue will be extended north to the new dock, under an agreement with the government and the town of Midland.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – August 24th to 31st, 1960

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Click on photos to enlargeThis large centerpiece on display at the flower show sponsored by Midland Horticultural Society at St. Paul’s United Church Friday drew much favorable comment from visitors. It was entered by Mrs. Charles Morden. Two small attraction bouquets in front of the centerpiece were by other entrants. 

Judged tops in their classes at the flower show held by Midland Horticultural Society Friday were the church basket being admired by Dorothy Shaw (left) and the basket of annuals beside Mrs. Gordon Wallace (right). Mrs. Charles Morden provided the church basket and Mrs. Gilson grew the annuals. 

Two prominent prize winners at Midland Horticultural Society’s flower show this year were, Mrs. Leslie Gilson, left, who had 79 points and Mrs. Charles Morden, right, tops with 95 points from her 54 entries. Examining some of the flowers with the two exhibitors is Miss May Wilkinson, centre. Mrs. Gilson also had a large number of entries, 50 in all. Enos Metheral placed second with 82 points. 

(Mrs. Morden kept a beautiful flower garden at their home on the north east corner of Fourth and Yonge. It bordered Yonge Street and was visible to all who passed. My mother, a gardener herself, often spoke of it and also Scotch Mary’s garden on the east side of town. I noticed the other day that the stone trim along the Yonge Street border was being repaired, by her daughter I believe, Mrs. Morden would be glad.)

“It’s all yours”, says George Mead, right, as he turns over the keys of his Penetang department store to Ernest Howe, who will manage it for Jasons Stores Ltd., Toronto. Mr. Mead, who has operated the store, formerly known as the Green Block, since January, 1946, retains ownership of the building. He has taken a prominent part in sporting and fraternal circles since coming to Penetang. 

Proudest dad in Midland Friday night was L. S. “Toots” Wallace after his daughter, Jean, had won the Simcoe County ladies’ golf title in Collingwood during a three-day tournament. Miss Wallace, who also won the title on her home course in 1957, succeeds club mate Mrs. Cecil English as county champ. 

These five women proved excellent representatives of Midland Golf and Country Club at the Simcoe County golf championships in Collingwood last week, left to right they are, Mrs. Bob Bath, Mrs. Bill Hack, Mrs. Cecil English, Miss Jean Wallace, and Miss Ruth Shaubel. Miss Wallace won the county title, succeeding Mrs. English, last year’s winner, and Miss Shaubel won the championship competition title. Mrs. Bath reached the semi-finals in the main event. 

“A Reserve View” Editorial page photo refers to the view from the mainland at Cedar Pointe out towards Christian Island. Hope Island is in the middle and Christian on the left. The ferry dock and the islands are part of the Beausoleil First Nation. 

Big piles of lumber continue to grow on the mainland at Cedar Point, where they have been transported from the saw mill on the Christian Island Indian Reserve. Above Andrew Mixemong is seen atop a pile of maple boards. Working under the guidance of the Department of Indian Affairs, the Indians cut maple, beech, oak, ash, elm, hemlock, basswood and elm logs in the winter, cut them up in spring and summer months. 

The government dock at Cedar Point was a hive of activity Wednesday as a group of visiting youth left for home on the Brantford Reserve after a two-month holiday period at the Christian Island Reserve. Above, one of the two buses used to transport the young school-age campers is seen being loaded with gear. At right is the sturdy ferry boat to the island. 

Visit of John Wintermeyer, Ontario Liberal leader in the Ontario Legislature, provided a welcome interlude for residents of Georgian Manor, Penetang, Saturday afternoon. Here Mr. Wintermeyer chats with Mrs. Ellen Berkinshaw of Orillia during an extensive tour of the manor. 

Leader of the opposition in the Ontario Legislature, John Wintermeyer played the role mostly of listener when he visited Mrs. Henrietta Belcourt in Georgian Manor, Penetang, Saturday. Mayor Jerome Gignac, left,  acted as interpreter as the 81-year-old Mrs. Belcourt related some of her many experiences in her native French for Mr. Wintermeyer and his son, John Jr ., 8. 

“Gosh how these ladies like to talk!” mused John Wintermeyer Jr., as his mother (light dress) and sisters chatted with Mrs. Rose Courtemanche at Georgian Manor, Penetang, Saturday afternoon. Mrs. Courtemanche, a former Midlander, was on hand to greet John Wintermeyer, Liberal leader in the Ontario House, during a visit to the Manor and other points in this area on the weekend. 

One of the interesting sights for visitors to Port Severn is watching boats like these two outboards, or large cruisers, go through the locks. The two boats  are about halfway to the top in their climb from the level below the dam to the river level above. 

Midland’s newest industry, Dominion Electro-Plating Co. is now in operation in a small building on William Street. Owner Frank Zgudziak, left, and an employee prepare to lower a car bumper into a chrome bath. 

Exterior of the new nurses’ residence at Penetanguishene General Hospital is nearing completion. New structure is attached to hospital (part of which shows at right) by a short covered walk. The architect designed the new building to blend with the hospital. 

Youngsters who have been attending the old wooden school of SS 6, Tay Township, at Fesserton will return to the brand new building Sept. 6. The two-room brick structure, which features a wide expanse of glass at the rear, is being built by Les Bertram, a Midhurst contractor, at a cost of $46,000. History of the school dates back to 1884. 

Less than a generation ago, much of the travel on the Severn River was by canoe or comparatively slow, inboard engine cruisers. Now the river hums with the sound of fast outboards, such as fill this marina above the dam at Port Severn. Traffic on the river has been almost as heavy as on adjacent highways. 

Hundreds of summer visitors from Canada and the United States  find Honey Harbour district an ideal vacation area. Here cruisers, outboards and a new pontoon type craft rest at anchor in the bay in front of the Delawana lnn. The area is noted for its scenic beauty and excellent fishing. 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hounsome have received official recognition for “25 years of faithful service” in operating the post office at Wyebridge. Mr. Hounsome has been post master, and his wife the assistant, since August 10, 1935. 

One of the things which keep bringing the visitors back to this area year after year is the pleasant vistas which can be obtained in a few minutes drive in any direction from cottage or motel. This is how Farlain’s (or Cook’s) Lake appears from the seldom travelled north side. 

In the ring or out, the midgets always provide a barrel of fun for wrestling fans at Midland Arena Gardens. Some of the extra-curricular action that featured Monday night’s bout between two teams of tiny grapplers is pictured above. Wrestling comes to an end for this season at the Gardens next Monday night. 

This handsome looking structure is the new addition built to St. Theresa’s High School in Midland. Studies up to and including Grade 12 will be available at the school this year. It is expected that enrolment in September will be increased considerably over last year.

The same corner a couple of years ago.


Free Press Herald headline of August 24, 1960 

Lands and Forests officials this week credited the prompt action of an Orillia airways pilot in averting what could well have been a major forest fire outbreak in the Severn River Management Area last week. The pilot was enroute from North Bay to Orillia with a plane load of passengers when he spotted a bush fire burning in the Cana Lake area of Wood Township, about 10 miles northeast of Severn Falls. Coldwater Lands and Forests authorities said the pilot turned his plane off course, landed at Severn Falls, reported the fire at headquarters there, and left his passengers at the Severn while he flew two fire rangers and pumping equipment in to Cana Lake. 

County Herald headline of August 26, 1960.

North Simcoe district businessmen today were warned to keep a close check on Canadian bank notes, received in their day-to-day transactions. RCMP Constable Cascagnette of the Orillia detachment, a former Penetang boy, said a considerable amount of counterfeit $10, $50 and $100 bank notes are being circulated. One counterfeit $10 bill was picked up in Orillia this week. Constable Cascagnette said counterfeit bill passers would be likely to operate in this area because or the large Influx of tourists at this time. 

Free Press Herald headline of August 31, 1960. 

Midland council and particularly its public works department expressed relief at a marathon council meeting Monday night, when it was announced the Ontario government had approved the  expenditure of $35,000 for public works maintenance. Clerk-treasurer Wm. A. Hack advised council that, after further consideration, the government had approved $35,000 of the $45,000 requested for maintenance. Previously the government had approved nothing for maintenance. Speaking to the chairman of public works, Reeve H. J. Beauchamp, Mayor Charles Parker said, “We are going to have to revamp and review our program (public works) so that you will know that you will break even by the end or the year and we are going to have to plan our winter works program.” 

    Members of the school board of S.S. 23, Tiny, (Lights School) expect to meet with Public School inspector K. J. Ellis today to discuss the possibility of closing the school. This was revealed yesterday evening by the senior member of the board Richard Matthews. Mr. Matthews said that if it is decided to close the school, 50 pupils in Grades 1 to 8 will be affected and they will be transported to schools in Penetang by bus. 

    A well-known Midland resident, Capt. G. E. Blevins died yesterday in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland. He was in his 53rd year. During his younger years, he was active in hockey circles in this area. The body is resting at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home, where it will remain until 1:45 p.m. Thursday, when it will be taken to St. Mark’s Anglican Cemetery for funeral service at 2 p.m., Rev. L. Delaney officiating. 

Midland was still waiting word from Queen’s Park concerning the methods by which local authorities were expected to administer relief. • • • Rt. Hon. R. B. Bennett, Canadian Prime Minister replied to a letter from the publisher of the Midland Free Press requesting his stand on the national grain situation. The reply was reported as making a modest and non-committal statement. • • • Penetang was erecting in Huronia Park, a stone cairn commemorating the capture of the warships Tigress and Scorpion. • • • Balm Beach Property Owners Association elected F. W. Grant president and decided to ask Tiny Township council for a policeman to patrol the area the following summer. • • • Owing to the large attendance at the Midland High School, principal J. J. Robins asked the various forms to assemble at different hours. • • • Tiny and Tay Agricultural Society decided to drop the annual fall fair for one year and there was much protest against the decision. • • • Stormy skies and showers marred the third annual sports day held by some 325 patients at the Ontario Hospital, Penetang. • • • In an effort to modernize its printing service and improve its job printing work, the Free Press scrapped 1,500 pounds of old type and replaced it with the Bodoni and Stymie families of type. 

    WAUBAUSHENE – A coin-operated, laundry has been opened in Waubaushene by Peter Barron who also operates an artificial ice-making plant and a hamburger stand being completed on his property in the village. The laundry building is conditioned by cool air from the ice manufacturing plant, and will be in operation 24 hours a day. When the hamburger stand opens, it will also give service on a 24-hour basis. There are 12 washers and four dryers in the laundry and it is capable or expansion to 18 washers and seven dryers. Mr. Barron feels the laundry will provide a service to the Coldwater-Waubaushene area, along with the restaurant. Mr. Barron built the ice plant in Waubaushene in 1946 after service with the RCAF. He rejoined the air force in 1953, retiring last year. His plans for the future include moving his residence across the road and allow more space for eventual location of a community swimming pool and a motel. Mr. Barron married Louise Chase at Brandon, Manitoba in 1942. They have a son Ronald 17, daughters, Anne 15, June 14, Susan 2, and infant Raymond, two months. The family will assist in operating the combination business venture. 

   Simcoe County council’s home for the aged committee ran into a bit of a snag Wednesday night when it opened tenders on the addition to be built at the Georgian Manor, Penetanguishene . Manor Superintendent Ivan Vasey told this newspaper yesterday that ten contracting firms had submitted bids on the project, estimated to cost about $310,000 for the building and about $40,000 for equipment and furnishings. Mr. Vasey said all the bids submitted were higher than the committee had anticipated. Because they were out or line, the committee felt no action could be taken at this time. The Manor superintendent said the committee decided not to call for new tenders. Instead, it has asked the architect to review the specifications and see if he could arrive at an answer to the current problem. 

  Midland singers and musicians and a youth from Victoria Harbour will present a 1 ½ hour concert on “The Barge” in Gull Lake, Gravenhurst, Sunday evening. Doug Brooks of the Midland chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouagement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (Inc) told this newspaper yesterday that the Midland chapter chorus, Midland Citizens Band and Doug Brodeur of the Harbour would be presenting the program in the natural amphitheater at the Muskoka town.  (I remember going to this event with my cousin who was in the Citizens Band)